Carolina Theatre

226 N. Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Patsy
Patsy on March 11, 2005 at 6:52 pm

There seems to be a few CT members who have contributed to this theatre link that perhaps live in the Charlotte area. If this is the case and you want to see this theatre restored, please contact Charlie Clayton at .com or call him at 704-534-1729. There will be a meeting Monday, March 21st at 7:00 PM Doubletree Hotel/Gateway Village 895 Trade Street. If interested, you are more than welcome to join us and meet others who want to see the Carolina Theatre restored. This theatre can be the “Jewel” in Charlotte’s crown. Thanks.

Patsy
Patsy on March 11, 2005 at 6:39 pm

BTW, does everyone like the new CT format? I’m not sure as I have to ‘maximize’ the link to read the messages, etc. though the print is larger for us older members!

Patsy
Patsy on March 11, 2005 at 6:37 pm

Anyone reading this link should read some of the Carolina Theatre articles as this theatre needs to be restored! If you want more information, please contact Charles Clayton, President Carolina Theatre Preservation Society (CTPS) via email at .com

Patsy
Patsy on March 10, 2005 at 7:39 am

Yes, the name Charles Christian Hook is a prominent name in Charlotte architectural history. Oneof his most beautiful buildings is a fire station on S. Laurel near downtown Charlotte.

Patsy
Patsy on March 9, 2005 at 7:53 pm

Another worthwhile article by Michaele Ballard entitled A New Show at the Carolina can be found at this website

Patsy
Patsy on March 9, 2005 at 7:47 pm

“Today the theatre is a shell of its former self. Its lobby and retail area were torn down in the ’80s after a fire that was confined to the stage; however, smoke spread throughout the theatre.” This quote taken from the above website.

Patsy
Patsy on March 9, 2005 at 7:41 pm

Go to www.mtos.org to take a photo tour of the Carolina Theatre to read an interesting article by Michaele Ballard entitled “The Carolina Theatre Awaits Her Fate”.

Patsy
Patsy on March 9, 2005 at 1:47 pm

The Carolina did not burn down. The lobby area doesn’t exist, but the reason isn’t due to fire. “Although the corner retail section of the property was demolished many years ago, the original entry facade is intact and the theatre itself, known as an "atmospheric theatre” is intact. The interior is reminiscent of the Spanish Renaissance style, with balconies and murals suggesting the illusion of an exotic, open-air Mediterranean garden patio.“ This quote is taken from the first Carolina Theatre Palace newsletter Volume 1, Issue 1 Feb. 2005. The Carolina Theatre Preservation Society (CTPS) founded in 1997 is a non-profit organization that has fought passionately for the preservation of the Carolina Theatre. An interesting fact is that the only premiere of "Gone With the Wind” was held at the Carolina in addition to the Atlanta premiere.

Patsy
Patsy on January 7, 2005 at 1:02 pm

Ross: I would like to see the complete Carolina Theatre information included at the top of this page rather than the word ‘unknown’ as most or all of the background information is included in several posts particularly the ones from KenRoe and Charlie C.

Patsy
Patsy on December 12, 2004 at 7:16 am

The exact quote from the Carolina Theatre Timeline (Oct 1988) is “City Fair opens but work is halted due to escalating cost. City Fair has already gutted the building removing almost all the decorative and ornate objects from the theatre. The stage area is rebuilt to accommodate the planned seating area for the restaurant. Carly Capital Co. who owns City Fair talks city into de-listing theatre from local historic register. The steel beams that were needed for the restaurant would not fit through the old lobby so it had to be torn down.” Now this is truly unbelieveable and almost made me faint when I read it! In Sept 1982 the Carolina was placed on the local Historic Register only to be “de-listed” in 1988 so it was on the list for a short 6 years!

Patsy
Patsy on December 12, 2004 at 6:47 am

The photo on this page unfortunately doesn’t show the portion of the theatre with it’s wonderful green Spanish tile slanted roof as trees are in the way so if you are in the Charlotte area and haven’t really looked at the original front roof facade of the Carolina that still exists, I urge you to stop and take a good long look. Thanks to Charlie C. he has shared with me some of the important Carolina history and now I know, in part, why the lobby section is gone……when City Fair was involved and going to go proceed with their plans for the theatre they needed to bring in some steel beams and in the process realized they couldn’t get them inside so they removed the lobby section! I can’t find the exact quote, but that comes close to what I read.

Patsy
Patsy on December 12, 2004 at 6:40 am

Thomas: I can’t bring up the site you mentioned on June 2002 about the article that appeared in the Independent Tribune concerning the fund raiser for the Carolina. Perhaps you or Charlie C. can enlighten me about this and why there hasn’t been other fund raisers since then…..it’s time! I suppose the site isn’t available now because that fundraiser is old news, but a new fundraiser needs to be present news!

Patsy
Patsy on December 10, 2004 at 2:43 pm

I was recently in Raleigh for the annual State Tree Lighting Ceremony and visited the Museum of History’s gift shop. I found a book on Charlotte with mention of the Carolina Theatre, but no photos. I’m hoping that Santa will bring this book on Christmas morning! HO HO HO!

Patsy
Patsy on December 6, 2004 at 8:06 am

C.C. Hook is a prominent name in the history of Charlotte. I first came upon this name in connection with a beautiful fire station on S. Laurel Avenue. I went to the address and took a photo of this station and saw the brass plate on the wall with his name along with the year of construction. After speaking with the commander he told me that it had been one of the featured Dept. 56 stations and for good reason! While there they rec’d a call and the fire trucks rolled even though no men came down the brass poles that are still intact at the station! I know this isn’t theatre chat, so forgive me for getting off the main topic for a brief moment.

Patsy
Patsy on December 6, 2004 at 7:32 am

Thanks KenRoe for the information you have on the Carolina. I read it through and what came back at me when describing the interior were…….“made all parts of Charlotte’s Carolina a feast for the eyes”. That interior is either gone or ruined beyond belief. I will have the rare opportunity to see inside the Carolina in the coming days thanks to Charlie Clayton, Carolina Theater Preservation Society so will see for myself then, but I’m sure a tear will form as I stand and gaze at what is before me. This theater MUST be saved and restored!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 6, 2004 at 7:04 am

In an article published in the Theatre Historical Society of America quarterly magaizine ‘Marquee’ Vol 18 No 3 Third Quarter 1986>>>>>>> I quote;

‘Designed by R.E. Hall of New York and C.C. Hook of Charlotte, architects and engineers, the Carolina had 900 seats in the orchestra and 550 in the balcony. The design was generally Spanish Renaissance. The first note of this Spanish design came with the box office of wrought iron (In its press releases of the day Paramount-Publix heralded the Spanish design as one of most appropriate for Southern theatres.) the fixtures throughout the auditorium were also constructed from wrought iron as well as wood and leather. Spanish (and Italian) pottery, terra cotta jars, wrought iron lantern top torches old brass and copper jugs, reproductions of old paintings, mirrors and seemingly endless drapes made all parts of Charlotte’s Carolina a feast for the eyes.

Opened on 7th March 1927, this house became the centerpiece of the North Carolina operations of the Paramount-Publix chain. It served as such until the late 1960’s. It closed in 1978.'

From
‘Chronicling the Carolinas’ Theatres by Jim Lewallen and Douglas Gomery

Additional information;
The Carolina Theatre was equipped with a Barton theatre pipe organ which was opened by Faye Wilcox. In the 1950’s the organ was played by Clarence Etters who was musical director at radio station WBT & WBT-TV. After that the organ went silent.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 6, 2004 at 3:15 am

Patsy:

My source of information is “American Theatres of Today” Vol 1 by R.W. Sexton & B.F. Betts Published 1927.

Pages 110 and 111 have architect plans and a photo of the auditorium side wall & balcony front looking back from the front of the orchestra level. Credited are R.E. Hall & Co Inc Architects and Engineers.

In the same publication R.E. Hall & Co Inc are credited as Architects and Engineers of the Florida Theater, Jacksonville, FL but in the case of the Eastman Theater, Rochester. NY other architects and associate architects take the credit and R.E. Hall & Co Inc are listed as being consulting engineers.

Patsy
Patsy on December 5, 2004 at 7:09 pm

I now have found on this site that R.E. Hall was the engineer for 2 theatres, Eastman Theatre in Rochester NY and Florida Theatre in Jacksonville FL, and was not the architect so the mystery still remains as to who was the architect for the Carolina Theatre?

Patsy
Patsy on December 5, 2004 at 6:55 pm

KenRoe: Thanks for providing us with the Carolina Theatre architect information, but was wondering what you source was as I see you are in the UK?

Patsy
Patsy on December 5, 2004 at 6:50 pm

Falonia: Are you a local Charlotte resident? If so, you might be interested in joining the Carolina Theatre Preservation Society founded by Charlie Clayton (charlie c).

Patsy
Patsy on December 5, 2004 at 6:00 pm

Thanks Charlie for your call and hopefully others will join the Carolina Theatre bandwagon! I’ve learned through more research tonight that the next door, Mint Museum has been allowed to use the theatre for STORAGE!?!

cclayton
cclayton on December 5, 2004 at 2:23 pm

Patsy,
If you want to see inside of the theatre, send me an e-mail at .com Our non-profit’s sole purpose is to save and restore this theatre. If you are not already a member, you need to join with us to make this happen. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!!!

Patsy
Patsy on December 4, 2004 at 6:36 pm

If they had a fundraiser in 2002, why not another one since it was so successful then. The interest is out there and should be ‘tapped’! On the following site: View link there is a story about the event that was held in the ruined auditorium in 1996 that is well worth reading and seeing!! I would love to see the inside of the auditorium though the website photos really help to give you a glimpse of what it really looks like today! The ability to see the past and present photos as a comparison really helps see what was and what isn’t anymore. I truly feel this theatre should be a community effort and the restoration of this once beautiful theatre become a beautiful reality! There are many theatres on this site, but none as worthy as this one to be restored and enjoyed once again by the citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina! If anyone reading this is in the Charotte area, please let me know what one voice can do and in the end if many voices speak out it will and can make a difference!

Patsy
Patsy on December 4, 2004 at 6:21 pm

Falonia: “If Nations can buy Bank of America and completely change the face of downtown why can’t they save this theatre? They owe it to the people of Charlotte? Well written and my thoughts completely. And I repeat…..this theatre needs to be given back to the citizens of Charlotte!!

Patsy
Patsy on December 2, 2004 at 8:04 pm

This theatre needs to be given back to the citizens of Charlotte!!